You know what I love (insert sarcastic voice) when older women tell me that “it goes by fast,” and to “enjoy it.” I love that. I think it is exactly what I want to hear, especially when I am…say…at church with my 2 year old pulling up my dress and crying loudly in the echoing silence, disruptive. It is the perfect moment to whisper in my ear and tell me to enjoy it. “Oh yes, I will try,” I respond with a half smile as my arm pits sweat with perspiration and I am at my wits end.
Here’s the thing. I think I know what moments that I will want treasure and what moments that I will want to forget. I’m quite certain that I will not want to remember that moment in church. You know why, because when I am counting down the slow-ticking minutes, I know it is not somewhere I want to be and something I want to be doing. I know for a fact that I will not want to “enjoy it while I can,” during that moment. Trying to get through 50 minutes of church with a very feisty 2 year old isn’t really that fun or memorable. It isn’t something to “enjoy,” thank you very much. But, thank you for trying to remind me. I do understand what you are trying to accomplish. I’m just not with you. We aren’t on the same page. Right now, we are writing completely different stories so I cannot relate to you. I know you can relate to me. I will not take anything away from that. BUT, what I’m trying to say is, thanks but no thanks. I can determine the moments to treasure and which to hide in the past, under the rug, in a box, for no one to see or find. Ok?
My 4 ½ year old daughter had her first dance recital. She stood in front of a large audience and did her dance the best she could. I was soo proud of her. I seriously was laughing hysterically and crying while watching her. It was one of my very first moments as a Mom where I felt like I could feel as nervous as anything and then as proud as humanly possible. THAT is a moment that I will always treasure.
The other day my 2 ½ year old pooped in her crib and spread it all over the sheets during nap time. Then, my 4 ½ year old had to be picked up from school early because she was crying hysterically because her eyes hurt. Then, it took me 30 minutes to get 2 drops in her eyes. Then, my 2 ½ year old took off all her clothes and cried for 45 minutes. Then nobody wanted to get in the bath or go to bed. THIS is not something that I want to “enjoy while I can.” If someone said that to me on that day, I would want to poke their little eyeballs out. This is something I know I will want to forget forever and ever!
Yesterday, my 2 ½ year old couldn’t wait to give me a picture she drew for me. She ran to me and handed me a scribbled picture with a black pen which she said was “me and you.” THIS is what I will want to remember when I’m older. THIS is a moment I wish could stretch and last forever and always. This, I know, is something to treasure and enjoy.
When my girls are smiling and playing together outside on a sunny day. Treasure.
When they are crying in unison at the grocery store because I won’t get them a balloon. Forget.
When they smile as big as they can when I pick them up from school. Treasure.
When they won’t listen, respond, look at me, or follow any type of parental direction. Forget.
As parents, we don’t need to remember it all. We don’t need to ENJOY IT ALL!!! We will know which moments to burn in our brains and our hearts and which we can let go. We know to enjoy it when we see our little babies dancing and drawing, running towards us and laughing big belly laughs but not when they are spreading poop around their crib. We understand ourselves enough to know what to hold dear in our hearts. We don’t need the reminders. Please stop reminding us. Just say, “I miss when my kids were this age.” THIS, I can relate to. THIS does not make me want to roll my eyes for 100th time. Because, the real reminders won’t come from people, they are there for us to grab hold of when they present themselves. We know. Right? We know they are there. We see them. We feel them. We treasure them now. We treasure them always. That is our job as parents.
So, to the old lady at church: (I mean, she really was sweet. But, I really was in a bad mood). To you old lady: thanks for trying but, don’t tell me to “enjoy it.” Just don’t. Because I am the type of person that won’t enjoy it just to spite you. Find something else to say to us because we are enjoying the moments we want to enjoy. And to be honest, we are despising the moments we feel like despising. You can’t change that. And you aren’t teaching us some life-long lesson. We aren’t going home talking about the old lady who changed our lives. So just smile and move on. We got this.
And when we are older and we see a young mom with her young babies, we will say to her, “I miss the babies, but I remembered to treasure it while it was happening. And I have no regrets. I hope you won’t either”.
Hope everyone had a very Happy Mother’s Day!!! I hope that day was a moment you will forever treasure. xoxo
~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies